Technically, I'm a libertarian socialist/anarchist. I have a strong belief in individual liberties (which i place in a different category than the liberties of institutions, which i believe need far more limitations than individuals do), but believe in a larger government to address issues than individuals are unable to directly affect.

I see the need to keep and bear arms as necessary on multiple fronts. First, the individual needs the right and ability to protect themselves against threats to their life and safety, including lethal force if necessary. The precise tool for applying lethal force should be left to the individual, as the individual is best equipped to know what tool is best for themselves. Police are inadequate to protect an individual, as it may take police far to long to respond (if they respond) to threats or violence against a person. Secondly, the nature of power is to seek more power. A government will always seek more power to itself, rather than seeking to give more freedom and choices to the people it governs. Revolution is sometimes necessary to redress grievances (to borrow a phrase). Without access to weapons, the individual and people as a whole are unable to revolt effectively. (See also: Tiananmen Square, Syria, etc.) I'm aware that this is a deeply unpopular view among progressives, and yet i see God-King Trump and his attempts to usurp more power and restrict liberties (press/speech, religion) and wonder if there will be a peaceful transfer of power once he's thrown out (...*if* he's thrown out). Broadly speaking, i think that most restrictions on firearms and civilian ownership of other weaponry should be removed, although i strongly support keeping firearms away from people that have already committed crimes. As with other rights, i think that any fees associated with 2A rights are an attempt to prevent people from exercising their rights.

I think that viewing firearms as a right for hunting misses the point completely. I'm quite comfortable with governments restricting what kinds of firearms can be discharged, and in what locations as a matter of public safety, but I'm not comfortable with bans on ownership of any kind of weapon. (From a practical standpoint, I'm opposed to nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in civilian hands, mostly because governments aren't supposed to have the latter two, and the world is trying to minimize nuclear weapons sure to their civilization-ending possibilities.)

I recognize that there's a problem with gun violence, but i think the collective right to self-defense against crime and government tyranny is more important than any individual criminal act. I also think that gun violence should be addressed at a root cause through public violence reduction programs; gun violence should be treated as a symptom to as problem, rather than the problem itself.

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